Barbara Walters Apologizes For Attempting To Get Assad Aide An Internship At CNN, Place At Columbia

June 7, 2012

Updated: (Syrian aide to Basher al-Assad defends her relationship with Barbara Walters) News report here.

Barbara Walters has apologized after newly released emails showed her attempting to get a close aide to Syrian president Bashar al-Asaad an internship at CNN and a place at Columbia University.

Asaad, whose bloody crackdown on his citizens has made him something of a pariah, granted Walters an exclusive interview in December. On Thursday, the Daily Telegraph reported that Walters stayed in close contact with Sheherazad Jaafari, the daughter of Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations and a close aide to Assad, after the interview was over.
Jaafari was a regular presence in emails obtained by the Guardian in March. “This man is loved by his people,” she said in one email.
Syrian opposition forces — perhaps the same ones who gave the Guardian the earlier documents — passed on a new cache of files to the Telegraph. They showed Walters calling Jaafari “dear girl” and writing to Piers Morgan and his producer about her. “I wrote to Piers Morgan and his producer to say how terrific you are and attached your résumé,” she wrote. On Tuesday, a CNN spokesperson told The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone that the network received the letter, but did not speak with Jaafari or offer her an internship.
Walters also contacted a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism to plug Jaafari’s bona fides. (Jaafari was not admitted, though the professor, who is also the father of Piers Morgan’s producer, assured Walters she would be given “special attention.”)
Contacted by the Telegraph, Walters admitted that, even though she refused to get Jaafari a job at ABC News, her actions “created a conflict and I regret that.”

CORRECTION: Walters contacted CNN about an internship for Jaafari, not a job as the article originally stated.

…at least Barbara Walters apologized. You won’t see the rest of the media doing the same.


How to misuse statistics: Israel accused of jailing too many journalists

April 2, 2012

(EOZ) From Justin Martin at Columbia Journalism Review:

At the end of each year, the Committee to Protect Journalists counts the number of journalists imprisoned worldwide and lists the countries in which they’re locked up.
These data are very helpful, but I think we can consider them under a new lamp by taking into account each country’s size. China and Eritrea, for example, have about the same number of journalists rotting in prison, 27 and 28 respectively. But the population of China is over 250 times that of the small dictatorship.
Any country that unjustly arrests or imprisons a single journalist is democratically suspect, of course, and that includes you, America. Ratings of press freedom in the United States tanked after 2011, as counts of arrested journalists in this country soared. Still, though police in the United States tend to arrest journalists filming or otherwise documenting unrest, their bosses usually get embarrassed at the media blowback and drop the charges. Imprisoning journalists for months or years at a time is another matter and, other than the outright murder of journalists in places like Russia and Syria, the long-term jailing of reporters is the offense with which the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is most concerned.
For a new take on this scourge, I quickly calculated the highest twelve ratios of jailed journalists to a country’s population size.

So we see that according to this criterion, Israel jails more journalists per capita than any other nation except for Eritea.
Sounds damning, right? (read on… it’s misleading, but I would of never caught this)

wow… tricky